Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The "Where's My Passport?" Tour 2009

You've lost your f***ing WHAT????

These were hardly the words that should herald the start of one's holiday. But there we were, 10 June, with a trip to Portugal starting on the 11th - and someone had lost her passport. The last time she remembered having it was the previous week, coming through Terminal 5. So it's probably the possession of a Khazakhzstani illegal immigrant now, or something.

The passport office were no help. With an increasingly-upset Darling G on the phone to them, they said there was no way they could do an emergency passport, and that she had to fill in several forms and apply the old-fashioned way. Thanks, IPS bureaucracy.

The insurance company merely pointed out the exclusion for 'stupidity' in their policy.

So. That's it, then. No passport, no holiday. There were tears, and raised voices (well, one raised voice anyway). I was left with just two options - kill The Darling G and spend 12 days burying her under the patio, or come up with some alternative to avoid going back to work.

I was dejectedly tidying the devastated living room at about midnight, putting back all the stuff that had been pulled off the shelves in the search, when I saw a copy of 'Bike' magazine. Their lead piece was a road-test of a new KTM - which they'd thrashed around the entire UK coastline in just 72 hours.

We had 12 days. And a speedy car.

And the Darling G had no choice, really.

So - at noon on 12 June we set off, unplanned and barely-prepared, armed with nothing but a few changes of clothes, our credit cards and a roadmap.

Our journey took us anti-clockwise around the coast, via Dover, Lowestoft, Inverness, John O'Groats, Ullapool, Dunoon, Chester, St David's Point, St Agnes, Lands End and many more.

The final stats:

3223 miles;
324 litres of fuel;
87 destinations;
10 hotels;
9 full English breakfasts;
4 points of the compass;
2 people;
1 car....
....and one lost passport!

The end result was absolutely incredible. What started with a complete disaster, and could've remained that way, turned into our own personal Long Way Round - an experience that will stay with me for a long while to come. It's also given me the confidence to plan similar trips for myself in future.

But while I feel like the new Charley Boorman, I hardly think there's a book in the trip, amazing adventure though it was. But instead, what I'm going to do is give you my observations from various key areas of the country. Stay tuned....


Unknown said...

Similar story a fews years ago. Bird left handbag in a black cab, with passport (drunk, obviously) 3 days before leaving for Egypt. Incredibly, the cabbie tracked us down and returned it the night before we travel.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

A speedy car? Have you bought another one then? :o>

I see you left the pie-eating stats out of the list, too!

(Ignore me, I'm just jealous!)

Lester Taylor said...

Just incase you didn't get it.